News

September 2018

Undergraduate and Graduate EE students participated in a week long joint forum with the University of Hong Kong in Shenzhen. Students visited several Chinese tech companies such as Huawei, Tencent, and DJI, interacted with the local students in free time activities as well as collaborative projects created in a new Maker Space that they presented at the end of the week. Being in China's tech capitol gave Stanford students an opportunity to interact with the infrastructure afforded to people in Shenzhen, visiting Huaqiangbei (a massive electronics hub) perusing hundreds of shops to pick parts out for their current and potential future projects. This was the first time this forum was held and all of the students had an amazing time experiencing the traditional Chinese culture and exponentially growing tech inside of Shenzhen.

August 2018

Congratulations to the four Electrical Engineering staff recognized this month for their outstanding effort! Included are Doug Chaffee, John DeSilva, Kenny Green and Kara Marquez.

Each of them received nominations from peers, faculty and/or students who included descriptions of the staff member's professionalism that goes above and beyond their everyday roles.

Staff gift card recipients make profound and positive impact in the department's everyday work and academic environment. Consider nominating a staff member today.

 

Join us in congratulating Doug, John, Kenny and Kara for their extraordinary work!

Modified excerpts from their nominations follow.

Doug Chaffee, Faculty Administrator

  • Doug is very friendly and helped me settle in. I appreciate his support with reimbursements, answering questions, and chatting!
  • "He's very helpful and prompt. He always makes sure everything runs smoothly."

John DeSilva, Systems and Network Manager

  • "John always has options to solve any problem –– and he always follows up on the status."
  • He has greatly improved our lab's productivity by upgrading our internet speed and adding new computers.

Kenny Green, Building Manager

  • He is a tremendous resource -– quickly solving problems and providing support.
  • "Kenny can be relied on to always have a solution, and he goes about everything in a calm and capable manner."

Kara Marquez, Faculty Administrator

  • "Kara's ability to really listen and understand what is needed is terrific. She keeps things moving forward."
  • She is always willing to help resolve unforeseen issues — which can be frustrating for her, but is greatly appreciated!

The Staff Gift Card Bonus Program is sponsored by the School of Engineering. Each year, the EE department receives several gift cards to distribute to staff members who are recognized for going above and beyond their role. Each month, staff are chosen from nominations received from faculty, students, and staff. Past nominations are eligible for future months.

 

Nominate a deserving staff person or group today – nominate individuals or groups that have made a profound improvement in your daily work life. Each recipient receives a $50 Visa card. Nominations can be made at any time.

EE PhD candidate, Julie Chang
August 2018

The team, led by professor Gordon Wetzstein, is addressing the challenge of autonomous vehicles and aerial drones relying on large, energy intensive computers to process images. They have joined two types of computers: optical and electrical, to create a hybrid machine that can analyze images with far less computation and energy.

The result is profoundly fewer calculations, fewer calls to memory and far less time to complete the process. Having leapfrogged these preprocessing steps, the remaining analysis proceeds to the digital computer layer with a considerable head start.

"Millions of calculations are circumvented and it all happens at the speed of light," reports Gordon Wetzstein. "Some future version of our system would be especially useful in rapid decision-making applications, like autonomous vehicles."

In addition to shrinking the prototype, Wetzstein, Chang and colleagues at the Stanford Computational Imaging Lab are now looking at ways to make the optical component do even more of the preprocessing. Eventually, their smaller, faster technology could replace the trunk-size computers that now help cars, drones and other technologies learn to recognize the world around them.

 

Their work was published in Nature Scientific Reports, "Hybrid optical-electronic convolutional neural networks with optimized diffractive optics for image classification", in August.

Excerpted from The Stanford News, "Stanford engineers create new AI camera for faster, more efficient image classification", August 17, 2018

 

professor Gordon Wetzstein
August 2018

Congratulations to professor Gordon Wetzstein! He has been presented with the Significant New Researcher Award for his work in advanced display hardware and display-specific rendering techniques.

Gordon develops displays that address a variety of perceptual challenges, including auto-stereoscopy, the elimination of vergence-accommodation conflict, and elimination of the need for observers with vision defects to wear corrective lenses.

His research has produced technology that corrects for myopia, hyperopia, or presbyopia. The Light Field Stereoscope, in 2015, presented a near-eye display technology that supports focus cues in virtual reality applications.

To utilize these display mechanisms, images are rendered with new algorithms that substantially increase image fidelity. The displays are not only designed, but also prototyped and tested. Indeed, several have been demonstrated in the SIGGRAPH Emerging Technologies exhibit.

Gordon is author or coauthor of over 80 conference and journal publications in Transactions on Graphics and in journals and proceedings in the fields of computer graphics, optics, information display, computer vision, and computational photography. These publications include contributions that support advanced display techniques, such as virtual reality camera rigs and cameras that capture both depth and velocity.

Please join us in congratulating Gordon on this terrific acknowledgement!

 

Excerpted from siggraph.org's "2018 Significant New Researcher Award: Gordon Wetzstein"

 

Related Links

August 2018

Congratulations to President Emeritus and EE Professor John Hennessy. He has been named the 2018 recipient of the Semiconductor Industry Association's Robert N. Noyce Award. The annual award recognizes a leader who has made outstanding contributions to the semiconductor industry in technology or public policy.

"Throughout his outstanding and influential career spanning more than four decades, John Hennessy has helped move the semiconductor industry forward, leading efforts to advance semiconductor technology and train future generations of electrical engineers," said John Neuffer, president and CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association. "John literally wrote the book on computer architecture design and has spearheaded semiconductor research that has helped make our industry what it is today. On behalf of the SIA board of directors, it is an honor to announce John's selection as the 2018 Robert N. Noyce Award recipient in recognition of his exceptional accomplishments."

John co-developed an approach to computer architecture that came to be known as the reduced instruction set computer (RISC) architecture, which involved significantly fewer transistors. The simpler design led to faster speeds, lower costs and shorter design times.

John joined EE in 1977 as an assistant professor and rose through the academic ranks to become Stanford's 10th president, serving in that role from 2000 until his retirement in 2016. In February 2018, Dr. Hennessy was appointed chairman of Alphabet Inc., parent company of Google.

 

Please join us in congratulating John on this well-deserved recognition!

Related Links

Linvill (left) and Gibbons (right) with first silicon device, circa 1955
July 2018

March 2018 marked the Inaugural John G. Linvill Distinguished Seminar on Electronic Systems Technology. Founded by Professor Emeritus James Gibbons and Professor H.S.- Philip Wong, the intention of the Linvill Seminar is to encourage the exploration of future trajectories for electrical engineering.

John Linvill was a revered figure at Stanford as much for his self-effacing and unpretentious style as for his engineering foresight and his commitment to the entrepreneurial spirit. Linvill helped launch Stanford on a trajectory that would ensure Stanford's continuing leadership in electronics engineering for decades to come. These lectures have been created to help us explore our paths going forward, and to honor John Linvill's enormous legacy as both a faculty member and a department chairman, whose commitment to excellence at Stanford continues to be a model for us all.

Featured speaker, Professor and President Emeritus John L. Hennessy, presented "The End of the Road for General Purpose Processors & the Future of Computing". The inaugural Linvill presentation is available through the video below.

 

Abstract of "The End of the Road for General Purpose Processors & the Future of Computing" – After 40 years of remarkable progress in VLSI microprocessors, a variety of factors are combining to lead to a much slower rate of performance growth in the future. These limitations arise from three different areas: IC technology, architectural limitations, and changing applications and usage. The end of Dennard scaling and the slowdown in Moore's Law will require more efficient architectural approaches than we have relied on to date. Although progress on general-purpose processors may hit an asymptote, domain specific architectures may be one attractive path for important classes of problems.

Read more about John Linvill

Visit Stanford EE's YouTube Channel

Yilong Geng (EE PhD candidate) presenting at NSDI '18
July 2018

Interdisciplinary research between professor Balaji Prabhakar, his team, and Google has produced a software clock synchronization system that can track time down to 100 billionths of a second.

The paper, presented at NSDI '18, describes a nanosecond-level clock synchronization that can be an enabler of a new spectrum of timing- and delay-critical applications in data centers.

The current, popular clock synchronization algorithm, NTP, can only achieve millisecond-level accuracy. Current solutions for achieving a synchronization accuracy of 10s-100s of nanoseconds require specially designed hardware throughout the network for combatting random network delays and component noise or to exploit clock synchronization inherent in Ethernet standards for the PHY.

The research team presents HUYGENS, named for the Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens, who invented the pendulum clock in 1656. HUYGENS is a software clock synchronization system that uses a synchronization network and leverages three key ideas. First, coded probes identify and reject impure probe data—data captured by probes which suffer queuing delays, random jitter, and NIC timestamp noise. HUYGENS then processes the purified data with Support Vector Machines, a widely-used and powerful classifier, to accurately estimate one-way propagation times and achieve clock synchronization to within 100 nanoseconds. Finally, HUYGENS exploits a natural network effect—the idea that a group of pair-wise synchronized clocks must be transitively synchronized— to detect and correct synchronization errors even further.

The importance of technical advances in measuring time was underscored by European regulations that went into effect in January and that require financial institutions to synchronize time-stamped trades with microsecond accuracy.

Being able to trade at the nanosecond level is vital to Nasdaq. Two years ago, it debuted the Nasdaq Financial Framework, a software system that it has envisioned eventually trading everything from stocks and bonds to fish and car-sharing rides.

The new synchronization system will make it possible for Nasdaq to offer "pop-up" electronic markets on short notice anywhere in the world, Mr. Prabhakar said. He cited the World Cup as a hypothetical example of a short-term electronic marketplace.

"There are tickets needed, housing, people will need transportation," he said. "Think of an electronic market almost like a massive flea market hosted by Nasdaq software."

The HUYGENS team is Yilong Geng (EE PhD candidate), Shiyu Liu (EE PhD candidate), and Zi Yin (EE PhD candidate), Ashish Naik (Google Inc.) EE professors Balaji Prabhakar and Mendel Rosenblum, and Amin Vahdat (Google Inc.)

 

Related Links (excerpted from)

July 2018

Congratulations to professors Jon Fan and Juan Rivas-Davila! Two of their researchers won the 2018 NASA iTech Forum. The event is a collaborative effort between NASA and the U.S. Department (DOE) of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to find and foster innovative solutions for critical energy challenges on Earth and in space.

The winning project was presented by Grayson Zulauf and Thaibao (Peter) Phan. Both are PhD candidates. Their collaborative project is developing technology for wireless charging of electric vehicles on Earth, and eventually, Mars. The researchers received invaluable feedback from NASA and DOE's ARPA-E leaders, as well as experts in the field of advanced energy technology.

"NASA is proud to provide a platform for innovators that exposes them to a cadre of industry experts who will be instrumental in the development of their technologies," said Kira Blackwell, NASA iTech program executive for STMD. "NASA's chief technologists and the U.S. Department of Energy's leading subject matter experts provided the teams with a better understanding of requirements for potential infusion of their technologies within a space environment."

Judges selected the top three innovations based on criteria including technical viability, the likely impact on future space exploration, benefits to humanity and commercialization potential. The teams representing the top three entries selected at the end of the forum received a trophy during the recognition ceremony on June 14.

"Our mission at ARPA-E is to change what's possible. We've been delighted to collaborate with NASA for the iTech challenge, to highlight and empower the people driving energy innovation across our country," said Conner Prochaska, senior advisor and chief of staff for ARPA-E. "We look forward to future collaborative opportunities with NASA so, together, we can continue to cultivate the next generation of energy technologies for Americans on the ground and in space."

"It was an honor for Citi to host 'Energy-Tech' thought leaders -- policy makers, academics, scientists, investors and innovators -- for NASA iTech challenge," said Jay Collins, vice chairman of Corporate and Investment Banking at Citi. "We were proud to work with NASA on such an important effort to move energy technology out of the lab and into scalnble solutions for the Moon, Mars and the planet Earth. Congratulations to the winners, whose technological leadership and entrepreneurialism made us all proud."

The top three winners of NASA iTech's 2018 Energy Cycle are listed in alphabetical order:

  • iFeather, Boulder, Colorado. In-situ Fabrication of Extraterrestrial Aerogels for Transparency, Heat, and Energy Regulation (iFEATHER) for Habitat, Aeronautic and Space Vessel, and Space Suit Applications. Focus area: Innovative Power Management and Distribution
  • Stanford University - Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford, California. Two C: Transportation Electrification through Ubiquitous Wireless Charging. Focus area: Innovative Power Management and Distribution
  • WBGlobalSemi, Inc., Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Commercializing High Power Silicon Carbide (SiC) Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs) and Power Modules for Power Management and Distributed Power Applications. Focus area: Innovative Power Management and Distribution

 

Grayson Zulauf (third from left) is an EE PhD candidate. He is a researcher in the SUPERLab, directed by Professor Juan Rivas-Davila. the Fan Lab is directed by professor Jonathan Fan.

 

 

Congratulations Jon, Juan, Grayson and Peter!

July 2018

Professor Dwight G. Nishimura has received the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) Gold Medal. This is the highest award of the ISMRM society.

His citation reads, "For pioneering innovations in angiography, fast imaging pulse sequences, image reconstruction, and MR education.

Dwight was honored at an award ceremony during the Joint Annual Meeting ISMRM–ESMRMB held in Paris, France in June. The award presentation listed highlighted his contributions, including

  • Theme of coronary MR angiography
  • Spiral imaging
  • Tagging sequences
  • Spectral-spatial excitations
  • Non-contrast MRA

A professor of Electrical Engineering, Dwight is the Addie and Al Macovski Professor in the School of Engineering.

 

Please join us in congratulating Dwight for this well-deserved award!

June 2018

Samsung Professor in the School of Engineering and Chair of Electrical Engineering, Stephen Boyd opened the department's 123rd commencement on Sunday, June 17.

Welcoming families and friends, Stephen acknowledged their support and sacrifice and wished everyone a very happy Father's Day. A catered picnic lunch was available and refreshments were available after the awarding of diplomas.


The 2018 Design Award Recipients 

Professor Bob Dutton awarded six undergraduate students with the Student Design Project Awards. The capstone projects coalesce curriculum and allow students to innovate in novel ways.

  • Penelope Anema
  • Noa Glaser
  • Sarah Pao Radzihovsky
  • Kirill Safin
  • Anjali Majumdar
  • Samuel Stewart Johnson

2018 Centennial Teaching Assistant Award Recipients

Teaching Assistants and Course Assistants who excel in teaching are recognized by students and faculty. The centennial Award recognizes tremendous service and dedication in providing excellent classroom instruction. 

  • Sanghyeon Park
  • Rahul Trivedi 

2018 James F. Gibbons Award for Outstanding Student Teaching
The James F. Gibbons Award for Outstanding Student Teaching Award highlights students who have been nominated by faculty and peers for their extraordinary service as teaching assistants. We are deeply appreciative of the commitment to learning and sharing that our students display.

  • Alex Bertrand
  • Job Nalianya
  • Pin Pin Tea-mangkornpan

2018 Ford Scholar Award
Students that are eligible for this award must have both a high GPA within the School of Engineering and also actively pursuing an advanced degree. Four undergraudate students are recognized this year, two of them are EE students.

  • Theo Diamandis
  • Logan Spear

Terman Award
The Terman Award is presented to the top 5% of each senior class in the School of Engineering. We are pleased that 5 of our undergraduates received this recognition for their outstanding work.

  • Theo Diamandis
  • Logan Spear
  • Richard Mu
  • Georgia Murray
  • Akshay Rajagopal


Faculty awards included the 2017-18 Tau Beta Pi (TBP) Teaching Honor Roll and the Chair's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. The TBP Honor Roll recognizes engineering instructors for excellent teaching, commitment to students, and great mentoring.

Tau Beta Pi Teaching Honor Roll

  • Joe Kahn
  • Dwight Nishimura

Chair's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education
Professor Roger Howe teaches one of our very popular undergraduate courses, "An Introduction to Making." He, his co-instructors, and the teaching staff lead a few hundred students in building a variety of interesting devices. Please join us in congratulating Roger!

  • Roger Howe


The 2018 Student Speaker was Richard Mu (B.S. '18). He fondly recalled late nights with fellow students in Packard, Gates, Allen, Huang, and Clark. He thanked staff, advisors, insructors, mentors, family and friends who nurture and make countless sacrifices of support. 

"The single name on a diploma belies the community that must come together for each one of us to graduate. On behalf of the class of 2018, thank you to everyone that has supported us on our journey through Stanford and for supporting us on the adventures to come. And until machine learning tells us otherwise, wear sunscreen. Thank you."  –Richard Mu (EE B.S. '18)


Congratulations to each and every one of the 2018 Electrical Engineering graduates!

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February 2014

Three staff members each received a $50 Visa card in recognition of their extraordinary efforts as part of the department’s 2014 Staff Gift Card Bonus Program. The EE department received several nominations in January, and nominations from 2013 were also considered.

Following are January’s gift card recipients and some of the comments from their nominators:

Ann Guerra, Faculty Administrator

  • “She is very kind to students and always enthusiastic to help students… every time we need emergent help, she is willing to give us a hand.”
  • “Ann helps anyone who goes to her for help with anything, sometimes when it’s beyond her duty.” 

Teresa Nguyen, Student Accounting Associate

  • “She stays on top of our many, many student financial issues, is an extremely reliable source of information and is super friendly.”
  • “Teresa’s cheerful disposition, her determination, and her professionalism seem to go above and beyond what is simply required.”

Helen Niu, Faculty Administrator

  • “Helen is always a pleasure to work with.”
  • “She goes the extra mile in her dealings with me, which is very much appreciated.”

The School of Engineering once again gave the EE department several gift cards to distribute to staff members who are recognized for going above and beyond. More people will be recognized next month, and past nominations will still be eligible for future months. EE faculty, staff and students are welcome to nominate a deserving staff person by visitinghttps://gradapps.stanford.edu/NotableStaff/nomination/create.

Ann Guerra  Teresa Nguyen  Helen Niu

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